The Real Madrid Academy established in Port Harcourt by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has already received over 1,500 applications for admission.
Addressing journalists after returning to the state on Thursday from Madrid where he signed a ratification agreement for the Academy with the Real Madrid Foundation, Governor Wike said that with all the preliminary processes concluded, full academic and sporting activities would commence at the Academy.
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Governor Wike said: “With the signing of the ratification agreement, we are good to go. Any moment from now, the Academy will start full operation.
“As we speak, we have received over 1,500 applications from across the country from prospective students of the Real Madrid Academy.
“Yesterday, we were with the President of Real Madrid Football Club, Florentino Perez, and he assured us of total support in the actualization of this vision of developing the best Academy in Africa. He also expressed happiness that we fulfilled all the conditions for setting up the Academy,” he said.
Governor Wike expressed joy that the Real Madrid Academy had become a reality, with full partnership between the Rivers State Government and Real Madrid Foundation.
He noted that Rivers people deserved the best and his administration remained committed to giving them the best.
“We were in Madrid to ratify our agreement with Real Madrid Foundation as to the setting up of Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt. To the glory of God, everyone watched it all over the world that Real Madrid Academy is now a reality.
“The Academy will not only focus on Football, there will be the Basketball aspect. Our people deserve the best. Whatever we can give our people to ensure that they actualize their potentials, this Government will do,” he said.
He also said that the establishment of Real Madrid Academy had placed Rivers State on the global football map. He said all Rivers people should continue to work for the growth of the state.
During his official trip to Madrid, at the instance of Real Madrid Foundation, Governor Wike finalised the partnership process between Real Madrid and Rivers State Government.
He also met with the President of Real Madrid Football Club, Florentino Pérez to seal the agreement.
On Thursday, Rivers leaders gave the Governor a rousing welcome at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa. Members of the State Executive Council, Permanent Secretaries and key political leaders were on ground to receive the Rivers State Governor.
Also on Ground to receive Governor Wike were players of Rivers United and Rivers Angels, who celebrated the governor’s investment in sports.